Opinion & Analysis

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The guidance counselor crisis

How might schools better equip students with a shortage of guidance counselors? One solution is to bring in mentors who take pressure off the overwhelmed guidance counselors. Retirees are one great source of talent — they have the experience, time and wisdom.

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How can your librarian help bolster brain-based teaching practices?

Transitioning back to an inquiry-based approach to instruction requires students to take a more active role and asks teachers to step back into a supportive position. It can be a tough transition for many students and their teachers, but turning to the school librarian for support could make the transition a little easier.

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Boston’s next school superintendent must prioritize inequity issues

The new superintendent should expand the number of available advanced learning opportunities for all its students. But increasing the number of advanced work classrooms alone is not enough to address the glaring achievement gap.

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Missing the point on ‘school accountability’

The legislators would be better off coming up with plans to address the conditions that lead to low-scoring schools instead of continuing to put the onus solely on the educators who are trying to overcome them.

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School supervision and efficiency in Kansas

Half of the Kansas state budget goes to education, which can justify more supervision. Yet it's hard to escape the sense that legislative conservatives, smarting from court rulings on school funding, simply don't trust those involved in public education and are going to considerable lengths to remind them who's really in charge.

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Teacher pay drives school spending in Vermont

As we enter the annual school budget cycle, Vermont's school boards are facing the perfect storm: declining support from Montpelier, lower enrollments, and taxpayer anger at rising property taxes. The automatic annual teacher salary increases we are seeing — driven by indexed salary grids — can't be justified on educational, economic or moral terms.

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Education reform worth stopping

With an overemphasis on testing students and the state and federal "command and control" mentality, we are on a road that will lead to a hard crash — we are paving the road just as we drive on it. We have no say about the road conditions, how fast we must move or what our destination is. When we do crash, what will happen to our children?

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Schools alone cannot overcome effects of poverty

What if we took all the money we currently spend on trying to ameliorate the effects of poverty and instead adopt two ideas: a guaranteed minimum income for every family and universal high quality early education? These might be a surer way to provide a path out of poverty for every child.

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Can the tide turn against standardized testing?

In the fight against standardized testing, resistance can take many forms. Under the new leadership of Barbara Madeloni, the Massachusetts Teachers Association is planning to introduce a bill that would put a three-year moratorium on using standardized tests for high-stakes purposes.

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Skipping school for vacation: good for families, or bad for students?

The decision to take a child out of school is complicated, and no matter how well planned, school absences are disruptive. Most teachers cede that while family time is important, resulting absences do create an undue and possibly unfair burden on teachers.

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